‘One of the oldest in the class’ embraces automotive training

Former kindergarten cook and teacher aide, 40-year-old Yanné Logan swapped one classroom for another, leaving her kindy class to study automotive engineering. After completing her level 3 qualification in 2022, she hopes to land an apprenticeship. She shares her remarkable journey.

It’s great being an older learner.

At first, I was worried about going back into study, switching the brain back on, and being with people straight from school who knew about learning, research, how to use Chromebooks… but actually, I feel that being an adult with life experience has given me more backbone.

I’ve got more ability to respect the situation, to respect where the tutor’s coming from, to ask for help and to help another student. I might be one of the oldest in the class, but what’s surprised me is the number of females: it’s almost a third of my class.

We joke about how cool it would be to have a women-only run workshop, where everything was pink and flowery. And joking aside, I actually think there’d be quite a market for it! Back when I was starting my working life, I couldn’t have imagined it.

I worked in early childhood education and as a teacher aide for years – both traditionally women-dominated professions. Then with my two sons at secondary school, my feminist leanings came out. I’d always wanted to know what was going on with my vehicle – I hated relying on men and being ‘mansplained’ to, so I really started doing this course for personal interest and satisfaction.

Yanné Logan is working towards her level 3 automotive engineering qualification and hopes to go on to an apprenticeship. Photo courtesy of Rotorua Daily Post/Andrew Warner.